What We Believe

New (2023): Tom Bear’s Doctrinal Distinctives (click to view PDF)

The message we preach

We preach “Christ crucified” following the pattern of Jesus and His Apostles. Just as they did, we warn people that the wrath of God rests upon all those apart from Christ. Since most people fail to see themselves as God sees them, we sense an obligation to describe their sinful condition to them in order that they might begin to see their need for the Savior. (Jesus came to save sinners, not those who consider themselves righteous in God’s sight.)  The Bible likens the process of evangelizing to sowing of seed.  Like the farmer, the evangelist must first prepare the ground by lovingly confronting people about their true condition before God. Most men will admit they are sinners. It is our job to show them that as sinners, they stand justly condemned and rightly deserve eternal hell. Until a man begins to comprehend his real condition, the good news of Jesus’ substitutionary sacrifice will not seem significant to them. Often during an initial conversation, 90% of our time will focus on these issues. As God enables us to help them see their condition, we then gladly explain how Jesus took the punishment they deserve by dying in their place as the  Lamb of God, and that He rose from the dead and is now seated at the Father’s right hand, proving that God accepted His death as the payment for sins. This central theme of the gospel is what separates Christianity from all of the man-made religions. The message we preach is contained in the tracts that we write and distribute. We give Christians permission to use the text of our tracts in their evangelism outreach. (Select “Free Evangelism Tools” from menu bar.) 
For more detailed explanation about our message and approach to evangelizing the lost, refer to Tom Bear’s book, How to Evangelize,  Bringing Back the Gospel. A description of it is provided on the  books page of this web site.
Stones Cry Out Statement of Faith

Section 1: The Word of God- We believe the Bible (both the Old and New Testaments) is God’s authoritative Word to man. We believe God used men to write the books of the Bible but moved them supernaturally to produce writings that were free of error. We believe that God has faithfully preserved His written Word as evidenced in the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts which can now be viewed online. For more information about the preservation of the New Testament, see the God has preserved every word page. Though some are better than others, the English versions of the Bible adequately convey the original writings. We believe that though the Bible speaks about many things, its main message is about God’s eternal plan to redeem people from sin through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus. We believe that this message of the Bible is the power of God that propels those who are believing it unto the salvation that will soon be revealed.  There is no other book on Earth given by God that can accomplish this purpose.

Section 2: The Triune God- We believe there is only one God; He is without beginning and end; He is the creator and sustainer of all things; He is in control of all things, including the salvation of sinners; and He is perfectly holy and will tolerate no sin in his presence. We believe that this one God has always existed as three persons, referred to in the Bible as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe that these three are equal in every divine characteristic and that they are joined perfectly in purpose to carry out the will of God.

Section 3: Jesus Christ- We believe that Jesus Christ is God’s eternal Son and that He has exactly the same divine nature as God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. We believe that, according to the eternal plan of God, He took upon Himself a human body by the power of the Holy Spirit and was born of the virgin Mary. We also believe that while He lived on earth, He lived a perfect, sinless life and was obedient even unto death on the cross. This fully pleased God. We believe that He came into our world to offer His life as a sacrifice in order to take the punishment that we deserve for our sins. We believe that God’s demand for justice was completely satisfied with the payment Jesus made by His death. We believe that Jesus rose from the dead three days later and was seen by many people. We believe that after many days, Jesus ascended to His Father’s side and received a place of complete authority over all things and that He continually intercedes for His people as our High Priest. We believe that one day He will return from heaven as He promised and all will know clearly that He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Section 4: The Holy Spirit- In addition to God the Father and God the Son, we believe in the person of the Holy Spirit. We believe that the Holy Spirit works to show people the ugliness of their sin, the perfect and absolute righteousness of God, and the certainty of their condemnation before God because of their sin. We believe that the Holy Spirit actively works to raise sinful people from spiritual death to spiritual life, giving to them the undeserved gift of faith and repentance. We believe that the Holy Spirit lives inside every believer. We believe that He always directs believers to live holy lives like Jesus, and He gives them the power to do so by faith.

Section 5: Man- We believe God originally created man, male and female, in the image of God and free from sin. We believe that sin entered the world through disobedience on the part of Adam, the first man. We believe that Adam’s nature became corrupted and that all people afterward, except for Jesus Christ (through the virgin birth), have inherited Adam’s corrupt nature and show this nature by personally choosing to sin. We believe that all people live their lives in rebellion against God, independent of God’s rule, seeking happiness as they see fit, and not really seeking God. We believe that based on their attitude and actions, all people stand condemned before God and fully deserve to be punished in hell forever.

Section 6: Salvation- The Gospel promise: Every person that believes (and continues to believe) from his heart that Jesus took the full punishment for his sins receives remission of sins and eternal life. (The sins are washed from their record forever.) We believe that no person will ever receive this gift simply by his own choice because all people are born slaves to sin and spiritually dead. By nature, people would rather keep living their lives the way they see fit rather than submit to God as ruler over them. We believe that out of mercy God takes the initiative to draw people to Jesus. God is therefore the only One who deserves any credit for the salvation of all who are being saved. We believe that, according to His pleasure, God chooses to raise some people from death to life. They are born again to a living hope and immediately begin believing and obeying God. From that moment, God begins to transform them using truth (as found in His Word) and trials to create pressure on their faith and grow it. Because only God deserves credit for their ultimate salvation, no man can take credit for anything except for his own sin and rebellion. None of man’s works, rituals or attempts of being good can earn a right standing with God. No man may take credit for his initial decision to follow Christ or his faithful continuing to follow Him, because all of this was a gift from God. 

In spite of the fact that God is the initiator of salvation, He holds every person personally responsible for how they respond to His gospel. All people (whosoever) are invited to receive remission of sins and eternal life through faith/trust in the finished work of Jesus’ death. God does not desire anyone to perish. (See II Peter 3:9.) God commands everyone who hears the gospel to repent (surrender) and believe (and continue to believe) the gospel. If a person fails to do so, it is solely his own fault because salvation from the coming wrath is offered freely to all who want it. There will be no excuse on judgment day! 

We believe that every person God regenerates (causes to be born again), repents of sin and trusts Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We believe that the people God is saving gladly begin to serve and obey Jesus as their new Master.  Two examples of this new heart-felt obedience are a willingness to declare one’s faith through baptism and a desire to be joined together in union with other believers. People are made spiritually whole by grace through faith and this always results in good works and lives that reflect the very nature of Jesus. And all who truly belong to Jesus will persevere in their faith through sufferings and persecution. For more detail explanation of what people must do to be saved from the coming wrath, click this link to the article on the free articles page.

Section 7: The Church- We believe that every person whom God saves is spiritually and supernaturally united to Christ and to all other believers in one Body. We believe that this entire Body of saved people is the real Church and is the visible manifestation of Jesus on the Earth. Thus, we believe that the Church is the spiritual Body of Christ, and Jesus Christ Himself is the Head of the Body. We believe that the true Church is composed of all persons who have been given supernatural, holy life by the Spirit of God. We believe that it is Jesus’ purpose to build up His Church and to purify it by causing individual members to be joined together with others in local assemblies throughout the world. We believe that God has planned that believers in these local assemblies serve each other and work together to advance God’s Kingdom by proclaiming the gospel to people all around them and teaching new believers to do the same. We believe that God has planned that local assemblies view themselves as united to all believers in the world to advance God’s purposes throughout the entire Earth. Therefore, we believe that all true believers are unified as partners with the goal of seeing Jesus exalted through the ultimate salvation of people from every nation and language. We believe it is normal to expect believers to flock together like sheep, to lovingly resolve conflicts between and among each other, to seek the good of each other, to encourage each other in the labor of harvesting for God’s Kingdom, to pray for each other, to watch out and care for each other, to teach each other, and to exhort each other, all with the aim of advancing God’s Kingdom. We believe all true Christians desire that the Good News of Jesus Christ be proclaimed to all people and they work and pray to that end. We believe all true Christians share a passionate desire to see this take place and offer themselves to God to be used in any way He desires, so that His purposes are fulfilled. Lastly, we believe that, along with the Biblical practices just mentioned, local churches should visibly display the gospel through the practice of baptizing believers by immersion and observing the Lord’s Supper.